The Queen leads the royal procession at Royal Ascot 2019

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The 93-year-old monarch, a lifelong horse racing enthusiast, was joined in the leading horse-drawn carriage by her middle son the Duke of York when the royal party arrived at the course on the first day of the historic and colorful event, which was first held in 1711.

The Queen, in a cornflower blue coat and hat, was accompanied by the King and Queen of the Netherlands, while the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge occupied the second of four royal carriages.

But Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were not in attendance, just over six weeks after the birth of their first child Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. The Queen’s 98-year-old husband Prince Phillip was also absent.

Royal Ascot has long been a favorite event for Queen Elizabeth, who has attended every day of every meeting for the last 64 years. The last time she missed Royal Ascot was for her coronation in 1953.

The Queen is a keen race horse owner and breeder and has enjoyed 23 winners at Royal Ascot over the years. This year she will have five entries in the five-day festival in Berkshire ,west of London, which is as much a celebration of high fashion and elegance as it is world-class horse racing.

Royal Ascot: How dress codes and fashion evolved from the 1700s to now
Royal Ascot is a fixture on the British social and sporting calendar, and is an occasion for racegoers to dress up and flaunt their style within the famously strict dress codes.

Gentlemen in the Royal Enclosure are required to wear black or grey morning suits with top hats, while women must wear a dress or skirt that comes below the knee, with straps of at least one inch in width, and hats or headpieces with a solid base of four inches must be worn. Jump suits were permitted for the first time in 2017.

However, racegoers are encouraged to be adventurous, leading to some spectacular hats and outfits.

Each day features six races with a number of top-class Group 1 races each day. Tuesday opens with the $750,000 Queen Anne Stakes raced over a mile before the King’s Stand Stakes and the showpiece St. James’ Palace Stakes, both also Group 1 races.

Wednesday’s feature race is the $940,000 Prince of Wales’ Stakes, while Thursday’s highlight is the Ascot Gold Cup.



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